Long-Term Unemployment Stereotype
These days, people believe long-term unemployment is a choice. In their minds, we, the 3.2 million long-term unemployed, are enjoying unemployment because we don’t want to work.
In other words, we’re considered “LAZY.” This claim has “spread like wildfire” through the mass media, and people everywhere believe it.
As such, people offer arrogant advice masked as “helpful” to assist us in our situation. They strive to humiliate us – though we’re experiencing a rough patch – as if we’re at fault.
Side Tracking Moment : The worst part of this is the lack of empathy toward the unemployed. People with jobs and those who have never faced ongoing unemployment for 27 weeks or more (long-term unemployment) don’t understand what it’s like to be in this position.
They’re out of touch with reality as it is today.
Back on Track: Now, some of the unemployed people out there might be lazy and without a serious interest in securing employment.
However, should all of us be characterized this way? I think NOT.
What about you?
Why do you think people equate unemployment with laziness? Why, when it comes to us, people assume we don’t want to work and support ourselves?
Lazy or Not
These people don’t take time to understand something: most of us didn’t suddenly decide we wanted to be unemployed.
Who wouldn’t want to work and earn an income to provide themselves with the necessities at least – food, shelter, and clothing? I cannot understand their thought processes.
I want them to know not all of us are at home daily on the couch watching TV. No, instead, we manage the reality of life’s issues as an unemployed person.
Unemployment is no walk in the park, and it takes a lot to maintain ourselves daily.
So, will people stop stereotyping us as a group and take the time to consider how we became unemployed in the first place? Take my case for example.
As discussed in my Searching For Work: Education And Skills Available post, I found myself unemployed after personally serving as an Elderly (Senior) Caregiver. I also discussed the ways in which I’ve tried to secure an offer (lower level and temporary alike).
In some cases, I am considered “overqualified” because of my education. In others, I am considered “underqualified” because I don’t have “enough experience.” Still, for others, I am considered unemployable because of my ongoing unemployment.
What is one to do when presented with so many road blocks?
Here’s some information for the critics: it’s not easy to get a job – more or less get an interview as competition for interviews has increased. Some suggests taking initiative in job hunting: approach the head of a company, drop off your resume, and discuss openings.
A problem exists, however. Job searching has changed drastically. No longer can we go to a company and do this.
If we do, we usually will hear one of the following responses from someone:
1. “We only accept applications online, so you have to apply there.”
2. “Submit your cover letter and resume by e-mail only. No phone calls please.”
To the contrary, if we’ve already applied and want to follow-up on our applications or resumes, we usually receive one of two responses:
1. “If you’ve applied with us and we’re interested, we’ll contact you to schedule an interview.”
2. No response. Complete silence.
These things make it harder to stand out. Therefore, getting an interview is no easy task.
To sum up my case, I have education, skills, and experience. I’ve been actively looking and applying but have been unable to secure gainful employment at this time. Am I lazy?
How can these critics see our hard-working abilities if no one give us a chance? Can you please shed some light on this?
Not Lazy But Diligent
I, and others like myself, want to work. Often we hear, “plenty of jobs are out there.” Go and get one of them.
In response, we’re doing everything we could do to position ourselves for some type of employment offer. Weekly, we engage in job search activities and consider ways in which we can better ourselves – despite constant rejection and negativity.
This is not the definition of lazy people but diligent people.
Our critics don’t understand the economy on a larger scale: a supply and demand issue is going on. The numbers of people willing to work surpass the jobs available for all of us. And, the response rate to our application and resume submissions is mostly little to none.
To the critics: For those of you – who in your own mind – see yourselves as “hard working individuals” and “you could never be without a job” please let all of this sink in. Be careful with your belittling of the unemployed. You’re not in complete control of your life and don’t know what the future holds.
To my fellow long-term unemployed:
From Me To You: We face a lot of negativity because of our current situation but please pay no attention to these things. We have to keep moving forward through the grace given to us!
How do you feel about this? Please state your opinion in the comments below!